INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (26) categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, saying the two countries can discuss and resolve all issues bilaterally and “we don’t want to trouble any third country.”
Modi made these remarks while interacting with the media alongside US president Donald Trump who ahead of his meeting with the prime minister had said that he will discuss the Kashmir issue with him on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz.
Trump in recent past has offered mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
“There are many bilateral issues between India and Pakistan, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally,” Modi said.
Modi said India and Pakistan were together before 1947 and he was confident that the two neighbours can discuss their problems and solve them.
“When I had called Prime Minister Khan after the elections, I told him that Pakistan has to fight against poverty, India has to also fight against it. Pakistan has to fight against illiteracy and disease, and India has to also fight against them…I told him we should work together for the welfare of our people,” Modi said.
On his part, Trump said he and Modi spoke last night about Kashmir and he feels that both India and Pakistan can resolve it.
“We spoke last night about Kashmir, the Prime Minister really feels he has it (situation) under control. They speak with Pakistan and I’m sure that they will be able to do something that will be very good,” Trump said.
“I have very good relationship with both the gentlemen (Modi and Khan) and I’m here. I think they can do it (resolve the issue) themselves,” he added.
“We are talking about trade, we’re talking about military and many different things. We had some great discussions, we were together last night for dinner & I learned a lot about India,” the US President said.
Their meeting came against the backdrop of the Indian government revoking the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories on August 5.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.